Bridgehead to digital: Rapida 105 with inkjet device
KBA also unveiled a new-generation B1 (41in) press, the Rapida 105, whose overhead delivery instantly revealed its similarity to the high-end Rapida 106 and KBA’s adoption of the platform concept common in the automotive industry. The Rapida 105 is offered with a much broader range of automation options than was its predecessor, and is now also available as a perfecting version for four-backing-four. The model exhibited at Drupa had a speed-enhancement package that raised the maximum production speed to 17,000sph, compared to 16,000sph for the standard version.
But the big attraction on the Rapida 105 at Drupa was its inkjet inking unit with two integrated Atlantic Zeiser Delta 105iUV systems and a UV LED dryer for personalised imprinting and coding. An innovative vacuum cylinder (AirTronic Drum) with countersunk grippers ensured that the sheets were positioned correctly under the inkjet heads. This option, which dispenses with the need for mechanical sheet guides and print-free corridors, is unique to the Rapida 105 and 106. By preventing the rear edge from lifting it allows the inkjet system to be installed at a distance of just 1mm (0.04in) from the sheet.
Other potential applications range from quality inspection with KBA-Metronic’s alphaJET-tempo printer for tagging flawed sheets, brand protection using coding devices (barcodes, QR codes, numerical IDs or combinations thereof), security and publication printing, labels, packaging, lottery tickets and ads. Up to eight of Atlantic Zeiser’s high-speed greyscale inkjet printing heads can fit in a Rapida 105 or 106 printing unit. They apply equally sharp images on coated, laminated, glossy and non-absorbent substrates. A miniature controller allows them to be used in marking, inspection and quality assurance processes. A high-speed camera for verifying the variable data is another quality control feature. KBA QualiTronic MarkPlus, which flags faulty blanks as part of an inline sheet inspection system, is an attractive option for packaging printers. The flawed blanks can be ejected automatically during downstream processing, eg in the folder gluer.
KBA’s AirTronic Drum allows other finishing processes to be integrated in a press line. One current example is an inert dryer in a 19-unit Rapida 106 recently ordered by Amcor Tobacco Packaging in Rickenbach, Switzerland. At Drupa KBA demonstrated a possible link between the Rapida 105 and RotaJET when SigmaLine finishing kit from Müller Martini was used to wrap sequentially numbered covers printed on the Rapida 105 around inner sections printed on the RotaJET 76, delivering 52-page stitched brochures.
Rapida 76: high-powered Rapida 106 technology in B2
The 15,000sph, 530 x 750mm (20.86 x 30in) Rapida 75 unveiled at Ipex 2010 and since upgraded was joined at Drupa by the Rapida 76 – a new, high-end stablemate capable of straight printing at 18,000sph and perfecting at 15,000sph. The five-colour coater version exhibited boasted many of the automation options that were originally developed for the medium-format Rapida 106 and are unique in B2. These include DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, automatic plate changing, DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives, simultaneous washing with CleanTronic Synchro and a choice of either ErgoTronic online colour measurement and control at the new console or QualiTronic inline colour measurement and control. The Rapida 76 is the product of a cutting-edge technology transfer from KBA’s larger presses, and is sure to be of interest to productivity-focused commercial and packaging printers.